"Rags to Riches" 8x10, oil on linen panel. It was Father`s Day when I started this, that is why I chose a male oriented theme. I finally painted something I have been longing to do for years. I laughed and chuckled throughout paintings this. I painted Raggedy Andy instead of Raggedy Ann and a Steiff Bear. They appear to be commiserating about the rough life they had and now are in good hands. What stories they could tell to each other and us too. When Raggedy Ann & Andy first came out in the 1920`s, children loved them so much that parents could afford to make them from patterns if they could not afford the store bought Volland or Georgene ones. This is a handmade one, about 70 years old. Steiff bears where for the rich, not many children had them, I never saw one until I was a grown-up and starting to collect toys. They still are expensive. This one is a handmade reproduction from an authentic pattern. I so enjoy painting stuff like this, it allows me to express many things I feel about the toys children used to play with. How they thought that these toys had real consciousness, in a way they do, they retain the memories of playtime and childhood dreams.
This will be in a high quality dark brown frame from King of Frames. Below is a close-up of their two heads.
I blended a bit of the bear`s ear to Raggedy`s hair. They are picking up on each other`s vibes. Friends Forever.
I will make prints available on Imagekind.com soon.
I began this work at the St Regis hotel in Monarch Beach. I am painting on that property this summer as an artist interest for guests to watch. It is called a Summer of Magical Moments and is listed on the website of the St Regis Monarch Beach, my name and short bio is on their site too. Below is an image of when I started the sketch of it. It was a gloomy day with an overcast marina layer, so I decided to paint these toys in honor of Father`s Day.
The next day I set up the bear and Raggedy Andy on a table in my garden patio, then painted until it was completed. Below is an image of when I was more than halfway done.
I used my shade buddy artist umbrella to block out the sun since I wanted to keep the contrasts down between the shadows and lights. I wanted to create an air of nostalgia in placing these two together. I also purposely made the Raggedy Andy look soiled and a bit tattered while the bear was clean and fluffy. But they still are the best of friends. There is an analogy you can draw from that, I wanted it to be this way. We all have friends, it doesn`t matter who they are or what they have. Friends share bits of their lives, dreams and experiences based on closeness of the heart. Raggedy Andy has stitched red heart under that shirt. The bear has a growler in his chest, but he growls in kindness. :)
Copyright: 2011, Esther J. Williams